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Bounce Rate: A Mind-Boggling Metric

Become a bit more knowledgeable about your bounce rate

How familiar are you with bounce rates?

If you spend time poking around your analytics package, you probably have seen the numbers associated with your website’s bounce rate.

However, the numbers behind a bounce rate aren’t always the easiest to figure out.

What’s a bounce rate, anyway?

Google defines a bounce rate as, “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”

So this metric basically tells you how relevant your content is. For instance, if you optimized a landing page well that ended up on page-one in Google for the term “content marketing strategy”, the information contained on said landing page better be about your content marketing strategy. If it isn’t, the visitors to your website will rarely convert into registered members of your community. They will likely leave your website and negatively impact your bounce rate.

If your content doesn’t live up to what you’re telling people it is, you won’t build your community or email marketing list, regardless of how good your conversion architecture is.

How to decide if your bounce rate is acceptable

Perception is a term to consider while thinking about your website’s content and its bounce rate. Even if the content on your website matches the search description to a tee, it doesn’t mean the content is what the searcher is looking for.

In this scenario, the searcher’s perception of the content may not coincide with your own perceptions.

This happens all of the time, and it doesn’t necessarily mean either party is wrong in their thought process.

This will, however, have an impact on your bounce rate, which is why it’s hard to say what type of bounce rate percentage is good or bad.

When it comes to online publishers or content marketers that are specifically looking to convert casual visitors into subscribing members, a lower bounce rate will mean the visitor actually converted, as opposed to leaving the site without converting.

For website hosts that don’t have a lot of content, aren’t looking for converted members and only care about page views and impressions, then a high bounce rate won’t be as much of a concern to them.

For online publishers, I’d recommend monitoring your bounce rate. If it stays virtually the same or goes down from month to month, you’re in good shape. If you’re content-based and your bounce rate goes above 80%, I’d suggest looking deeper into your content and attempt to determine what the issue may be.

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Reasons for high bounce rates

High Bounce Rate Reason #1 – As mentioned above, the description of your content doesn’t match the actual content contained on the webpage.

High Bounce Rate Reason #2 – Your website is confusing to visitors or designed poorly.

High Bounce Rate Reason #3 – Your website contains spam, pop-ups or rich-media that plays upon entry. These can be annoying and/or unsafe.

High Bounce Rate Reason #4 – The content on your website is old and out-of-date.

Bounce rates can be the bane of analysts, but consider the information from this article before getting too worked up about your website’s bounce rate.

Stay tuned for more information on bounce rates, in addition to a wealth of knowledge on the topic of analytics itself when you attend our Actionable Analytics webinar on December 14.

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